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Showing posts from April 8, 2013

N.Korea preparing for fourth nuclear test: South

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea appears to be preparing for a fourth nuclear test, South Korea said on Monday, following intelligence reports of heightened activity at its main atomic test site.

"There are such signs," Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-Jae told a parliamentary committee hearing when lawmakers asked him to confirm the reports.

It was the North's third nuclear test in February and subsequent UN sanctions that kickstarted the cycle of ongoing escalating military tensions that the international community is desperate to break.

The JoongAng Ilbo daily said South Korean intelligence had detected unusually busy personnel and vehicle movements at the North's Punggye-ri nuclear test site since last week.

"We are trying to figure out whether it is a genuine preparation for a nuclear test or just a ploy to heap more pressure on us and the US," it cited an unnamed South Korean government official as saying.

Intelligence reports also suggest Pyongyang has readied two…

Air raid kills 15 in Kurd area of Syria's Aleppo: NGO

BEIRUT (AFP) - Nine children were among at least 15 people killed in an air strike on a mainly Kurdish district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Saturday, a watchdog said.

"The number of people killed in an air strike on the western edges of Sheikh Maksoud has risen to 15 ... Among them were nine children aged under 18 years and three women," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It was not immediately clear if any of the casualties were fighters from the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Syria's branch of Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Britain-based Observatory said.

After the strike, Kurdish fighters killed five soldiers in an attack on an army checkpoint, the watchdog added.

Up until now, Syria's Kurds have been split over their country's anti-regime uprising, with most trying to maintain neutrality.

Amateur video distributed by the Syrian Revolution General Commission, an activist network, showed burnt bodies lying in rub…

Iran to introduce 5 new radioisotopes in coming days

Azerbaijan, Baku, Apr.7/ Trend G.Mehdi/

Iran will unveil five new domestically produced radioisotopes by the end of the current calendar month of Farvardin (April 20), ISNA quoted Iranian Vice President for Scientific and Technological Affairs Nasrin Soltankhah as saying.

Soltankhah also said that Iran would unveil 28 science-based products in the near future.

In October 2012, ISNA quoted Iran's National Security Committee spokesman Hossein Naqavi Hosseini as saying that Iran will become self-sufficient in producing radioisotope drugs in the current calendar year which began on March 21.

Once the first phase of the Arak nuclear power plant comes on stream, the country will be self-sufficient in producing radioisotope drugs for over one million patients suffering from various types of cancers and brain tumors, he noted.

In a landmark pharmaceutical progress, the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) announced in January that Iranian scientists have managed to synthesise two new type…